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GrossMunster

What Is The Grossmunster?

The Grossmunter (the English translation is “great minister”) is a Protestant church in Switzerland, in the city of Zurich, and it is designed in the Romanesque style. It was of the 3 primary churches in Zurich (the others were St. Peterskirche and Fraumunster). The Zurich Canton hosts the Evangelical Reformed Church, and its congregation is a part of this church. The main part of the current building close to the river of Limmat was built on the site of an old Carolingian church, and that church had been commissioned by a famous man named Charlemagne (that was the legend). The development of the current structure begun around the year 1100, and it was officially inaugurated in the year 1220. 

The Grossmunster was a church designed in the style of a monastery, and it was always competing with the Fraumunster during the Middle Ages. The legend has it that the Grossmunster was commissioned and established by Charlemagne. Supposedely, his horse dropped to its knees across the tombs of Regular and Felix, who were the patron saints of Zurich. The legend goes to give credence to the idea that the Grossmunster was superior to the Fraumunster, which was established by Lous the German, who was the grandson of Charlemagne. New archaeological evidence verifies that there was a burial ground from the Roman era at the site.

Historical Importance 

The Swiss-German Reformation began from the office of Huldrych Zwingli, from his office at the church. It begun in 1520. The man won a number of debates (the debates were moderated by the magistrate) which finally led local authorities to sanction the church being cut off from the papacy. The reforms beguns by the man, and continued on by his successor, can explain the very bare interior of the church. The reformers took out the religious statuary and organ in 1524. These were serious changes, and they were accompanied by Lent being abandoned, disavowing of celibacy, a ban on music in the church, and so on. These big changes make the site one of the most significant places in the history of the reformation, and this church is generally regarded as where the Swiss-German reformation began. 

Anyone interested in church history, the history of the Christian church, Swiss-German Reformation history, or European church history would find this church site very educational, important, and illuminating. It is one of the most important religious historical sites in Switzerland.

GrossMunster Photo Gallery

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